Former President Donald Trump hosted the conservative influencers behind Libs of TikTok and The Babylon Bee at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida as part of a new charm offensive as he runs again for president, according to a source with knowledge of the strategy.
In addition to the creator of the controversial Twitter account Libs of TikTok, Trump also hosted Seth Dillon, who owns The Babylon Bee, a conservative political satire website, the source said. Dillon could not immediately be reached for comment.
It was one of the first of many wine-and-dine events that Trump has planned with social media influencers, the source said.
Trump, who last year announced he is running again for president, has been slow to start holding public rallies or events for his re-election campaign. On Saturday, he will head to New Hampshire and South Carolina for events.
The creator of Libs of TikTok, which has gained widespread popularity among far-right figures, on Tuesday tweeted a photo with Trump, who she says invited her to dinner.
“Bumped into this guy and he invited me for dinner. He seems nice!” Chaya Raichik, owner of the Libs of TikTok account, wrote in a tweet including a photo of her and Trump giving a thumbs-up seated at a dining table.
Raichik is considered influential in the political circle of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is seen as a potential primary opponent of Trump.
In a separate tweet, Raichik said she asked Trump “if his first tweet back can be retweeting this,” with a crying laughing emoji. Trump has been absent from Twitter following his suspension after the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack. Twitter owner Elon Musk reinstated Trump’s account in November, but Trump has yet to post anything. He has, however, sought input for weeks about hopping back on Twitter, and his campaign advisers have workshopped ideas for his first tweet, NBC News reported.
It is unclear why Trump met with Raichik. NBC News asked Trump for comment.
The Washington Post identified Raichik as the creator of Libs of TikTok last year. It has more than 1 million followers on Twitter and more than 300,000 on Instagram.
Raichik started Libs of TikTok months after the Trump’s suspension from Twitter, the Post reported. Posts to the account, which largely consists of mocking TikTok videos and social media posts from people who identify as part of the LGBTQ community, have been widely shared by right-wing media figures, politicians and influencers amid a recent surge in anti-LGBTQ legislation across the country.
In now-deleted tweets under a former Twitter handle, Raichik reportedly stated her support for Trump, according to the Post. Raichik talked about traveling to Washington, D.C., to support Trump at the Stop the Steal rally on Jan. 6 amid his refusal to concede his loss in the 2020 presidential election. Raichik also reportedly tweeted videos and her account of events as the Capitol attack unfolded.